Aug 222002
Authors: Summer McElley

CSU students saw their tuition increase late this summer and many are turning to financial aid for help.

After the approval in late June of a tuition increase by the Board of Governors of the CSU System, the hike would grow by 6.2 percent for in-state undergraduate students and by 9 percent for out-of-state students.

Parents began to rethink their economical and financial status, said Sandy Calhoun, director of student financial aid. This summer alone, CSU’s financial aid has received 17 percent more applications for need-based grants than in the past.

“The majority of these applications are from students who historically have never even applied for financial aid assistance,” she said.

According to Calhoun, the raise in applications comes from many factors stemming from the tuition hike.

One of the biggest reasons for the amount of need-based grants is because the federal aid application, or FAFSA form, is now available on the Internet and is quicker and more accurate, resulting in being processed earlier.

The weak economy is also to blame, as students see parents losing their jobs and assets and investments decreasing.

“Families are feeling unsure and uncertain of their financial circumstances,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun also said there has been a significant increase in student loan borrowing from last year.

Although students and parents are uneasy about the tuition increase, it is still cheaper when compared nationally to many peer institutions, said Gerry Bomotti, vice president for administrative services. He said many peer institutions increased their tuition by11-12 percent from last year.

“With record enrollments at CSU and less money from the state, in order to maintain services such as faculty and in order to add additional courses, CSU had to raise tuition,” Bomotti said. “This ends up being over 25 percent of the total tuition revenue.”

He also said CSU chose to have a lower in-state tuition hike than out-of-state because CSU had a smaller ratio of out-of-state students. The decision was made partly because CSU receives a subsidy for in-state students and since there are more in-state students, out-of-state ones were left to pay the difference, Bomotti said.

Although students from a broad spectrum of need are applying for financial aid, the only grant that increased this year was the Pell Grant, Calhoun said. The Pell Grant is a federal grant for those students with the greatest financial need.

For more information about financial aid or the tuition increase, call student financial services at 491-6321or go to

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